AN: If there's a lot of extra "ou's" in my words... It's because I'm Canadian. Thank you to all those who've fav-"ou"-rited/followed/reviewed my story Eh!
Bulma hurried over to the tournament venue, she had been so caught up in watching the contents of the scouter she lost track of time. She had already readied herself appearance wise, but choosing a car to match her outfit would prove to be harder than she expected. She had finally settled upon a red car to match her dress and yellow scarf, she decided to take one of her planes just in case - considering everything that she had been through throughout her life, she knew that she should always prepare for the worst. She threw on a pair of sunglasses and hurried out the door.
Trunks and Goten awaited impatiently for their turn to test their strength at the punching machines. Before they stood in line, they had all agreed with the adults that they would not display their true power in fear of breaking the machine.
Trunks stood beside his best friend arms crossed, eyes closed, head slightly down allowing his purple bangs to fall in his face. He was going to win this tournament to prove to his father that he was serious about his training. Goten clasped both of his hands behind his head waiting patiently for his turn to come.
"Goten," Trunks started with his eyes still closed, "You and I both know that we shouldn't be in this kiddie tournament, we should be in the adult tournament."
Goten nodded his head in agreement. "It's a shame that we won't be able to get into the adult tournament though."
Trunks' head shot up and a sinister smirk crept over his face. He had an excellent idea, but he wasn't going to reveal it to his Saiyan counterpart just yet, it would prove to be quite the distraction, and to be frank, Trunks wanted a good fight in the finals. As soon as the junior tournament was finished, he would reveal it to Goten.
"Who invited you losers," came a voice behind the two Saiyans.
Trunks kept his eyes forward ignoring the boy, but for Goten it proved to be a challenge as he whipped around.
"That was pretty mean," he scolded before turning to his friend.
"Don't worry Goten, if one of us draws this guy we'll be sure to silence him."
Trunks and Goten nodded in unison as they moved closer to the punching machine.
"Idasa's the name, I should give each you little losers my autograph because when I win I'm going to be the most popular junior fighter in the world."
Trunks rolled his eyes and chuckled to himself in the line. He silently hoped that he would draw the boy just to teach him a lesson.
"Now remember Goten, softly so that we're not paired together in the first round, we need to make sure that both of us gets to the finals."
Goten threw his head back and laughed, "Don't worry Trunks, I plan to flick it."
As the line moved along Trunks couldn't help but ponder what his mother had shared with him earlier about his father. He knew that the prince wasn't as open as his mother and spoke only briefly about his past with him. He never mentioned anything about never anything about his planet, his parents, or what he had been doing during his early years. One of the only things he said was that he was a prince and a soldier in Frieza's army.
When they got to the front of the line Goten looked over his shoulder at Trunks and offered up a subtle nod before taking a step to the machine.
Vegeta folded a napkin with the utmost precision to place on his lap before the meal. He and Goku were polar opposites when it came to any sort of decency. He ate just as fast as his Saiyan rival but not nearly as messy.
He loved a good meal, but his mind had been elsewhere. After all his training, he finally had the chance to humiliate his rival, and in a public venue. Beating Kakkarot would finally empower him with the pride that was stolen from him the moment that he crawled back into his pod to leave Earth all those years ago. The satisfaction of his foot perched atop Kakkarot's head in victory made his chest puff slightly. He smirked before pushing an entire leg of ham into his mouth sucking the bone clean.
"I'm so sorry I'm late everyone," Bulma said while rushing into the room.
Goku finally looked up from his food and waved happily. Had he not been sworn to silence by Vegeta while he had food in his mouth he probably would have showered his friends with bits of rice. He quickly swallowed his food and offered her a hug.
"I knew you'd make it," he said cheerfully.
"I know, it's been a while Goku, seven years to be exact."
A light-hearted chuckle escaped from his lips before stuffing more food into his mouth making it impossible for him to answer coherently.
Her friend was never really present in his two sons lives. She remembered the look on Chi-Chi's face when the dragon told them that he refused to come back, leaving her to raise her Saiyan sons on her own. When Vegeta gave her his word that he'd never leave their son or her it set her soul on fire. It was the kind that she read in fairy tales and saw in movies as a child, the kind that she relentlessly searched for as a teen, the kind that she had longed for when she was with Yamcha, and the kind that she knew that couldn't be satisfied with all the roses and 'I love yous' in the world. His unwavering devotion to his family was the way he let her know, and only she was privy to it.
"What are you staring at woman?"
His attitude shielded his true feelings, but only she knew that.
" I was actually wondering why you are all in here eating and not in the seats that I reserved in the stadium?" Bulma asked checking her watch
"Why don't you ask Vegeta?" Krillin asked while he stacked his third empty plate.
Almost immediately, the prince's glare shot to Krillin.
"What was that Eighteen?" He asked trying to send Vegeta's attention elsewhere before ducking out to the room to find his wife.
Bulma glared over in Vegeta's direction and he refused to make eye contact.
"Well is anybody going to fill me in on what happened to the punching machine?"
"We all agreed to suppress our strength in order for the machine to give a fair reading, but when it was Vegeta's turn, he destroyed it," Goku said nonchalantly, "But don't worry it was a complete accident."
Bulma looked over at her quiet husband once more trying to get his attention, but once again, he refused to acknowledge her. She doubted that it was an accident, he always had something to prove, and for the others to tell him to suppress his strength probably made him want to show it off all the more.
She didn't want to admit it, but there were still parts of himself that he clung to, and that's what scared her. She thought as though if he had gotten what he truly desired, he'd throw her and his son by the wayside.
She immediately shook her head of her thoughts, 'He's not like that anymore,' she said to herself pushing those thoughts to the back of her mind. She knew better than to demonize the man she loved in her mind.
"But don't worry it's replaced now, the juniors are having their go at it downstairs right now," Chi-Chi said snapping Bulma back to reality.
With her attention averted Vegeta pushed his chair back from the table before whipping his napkin down into his empty plate and heading out to the balcony. It wasn't long before he felt Bulma join him. A lengthy silence ensued before he began to get restless.
"Is there something that you want?"
"I just want to talk, that's all." She extended her hand so that it was curled around his bicep.
"I allowed you to watch the scouter for this very reason. I will not answer any questions. Just know that you will not like everything that you see on there, you've been warned woman," he said pulling away from here.
"Just communicate with me, I want to hear it from you not -"
"How much of me do you want? Haven't I given you enough?" He interrupted. "Whatever I give to you, it is never enough!"
"I want all of you Vegeta, the good, the bad and the ugly," she replied softly.
"You don't know the extent of my bad," he spat.
The conversation felt like deja vu, Bulma's eyes glazed over as she remembered.
Bulma looked upon the man that she both loved and hated at the same time with teeth clenched and fists balled. She eyed him carefully so that her fear wasn't on display.
How dare he, how dare this man refuse to acknowledge his own flesh and blood. How dare he try to continue living under the same roof as us and not even acknowledge that we exist and that we mean something to him. He didn't even make an attempt to save us when Dr. Gero attacked our plane.
"Why isn't he your priority, I don't care if you ever have feelings for me Vegeta, but I'll be damned if I ever let you treat him like he's just another person!"
Vegeta wasn't going to entertain this conversation out on the open lawn of her parents' property. He didn't even dignify her with an answer, he just turned and walked away. His actions made her seethe all the more as she sped after him.
"What are you running from, everything that you need is here with us!"
Vegeta began to grind his teeth. He was his everything and that fact was changing. The universe no longer revolved around him as he was used to. His static frame of mind was slowly succumbing to the friction of her kindness. He swiftly turned around to address her catching her by surprise.
"It's not what I'm running from," he screamed, grabbing his hair violently. "I fear nothing and I run from no one! It's what I'm running to. Every little thing I've done has been calculated, planned, reviewed then executed. I've always had an answer, a rebuttal... something. But now, I do not have a plan for how to combat this situation."
"Vegeta, sometimes we don't get to review everything in the methodical precision like you do, I didn't expect to be thrust into motherhood so soon, but guess what I'll deal with it and I'll continue to do so with or without you!."
"I'm a killer, I don't rear children, therefore you will be doing it without me."
"You're not bad anymore," she reassured him as she closed the gap between them.
"Woman, you don't know the extent of my bad. The type of evil that lies dormant in my bones is the type that you cannot simply remedy with kindness. Your light will never be able to overcome my darkness."
"Vegeta I know you, perhaps better than you think you know yourself. In spite of your darkness, you've always possessed a light that you've been forced to suppress and now you're afraid to let it out."
He made no attempt to stifle his chuckle, but she willed herself to continue.
"I'm not going to beg you for anything."
He turned around and continued his beeline over to the shaded area near the trees and took a seat at the base of the trunk. And to his luck, she followed him once again.
"So much for the 'I don't beg spiel', he snided.
Instead of playing into his game, she sat right in front of him and stared into his eyes. She knew that when she wasn't yelling, he usually replied with a dignified answer fifty percent of the time.
"Vegeta, you piss me off like no other but I want to meet with you, I want to meet with the real you."
A lengthy silence ensued between the both of them, but Bulma stayed silent in hopes of him finally providing her with a response that she could work with.
Vegeta closed his eyes and turned his head to the side before letting go a sigh of resignation.
"He no longer exists, and it's been that way for a very long time."
She shook her head from her thoughts.
"Geez, you're a bit edgy right now because of your impending battle, but if there's one thing that I do know, it's that you've changed."
"Have I changed woman, or have I suppressed?"
He watched as his words broke her and did nothing to piece it back together. She knew that it wasn't true, he was only trying to aggravate her.
Vegeta climbed the balcony rails and jumped down to the bottom. He had to get away from all of that. His son would be fighting soon, and he was absolutely positive that he would win against Kakkarot's spawn. After Goten's defeat it would be his turn to embarrass Kakkarot in front of the masses.
He eventually found himself at the competitors entrance to the fighting platform. It was closed to the other competitors by security, but after witnessing what he did to the machine they were too afraid to stop him from coming in. He was thankful that the tournament was running a bit off schedule. It allowed him to think without the constant bustling of people around.
He crossed his arms and leaned on the door frame before closing his eyes deep in thought.
Vegeta found himself in Frieza's Command Center, it was cold and unwelcoming as he watched the shadows of the tyrant's servants dance on the walls as they tended to his every desire. The room touted wall-to-ceiling windows that allowed him to look out upon the expanse of the universe. The young prince always had his head down when in Frieza's presence. He stared back at his reflection, noting that his boyish features were hardening under his master's regime.
"Monkey, you were given the simplest of orders, and you failed. Now I have to send the Ginyu Force to clean up your mess," Frieza said with his back turned looking out at the stars.
Vegeta was kneeling on one knee with his head facing the floor, listening to his master's verbal assault of him. If possible, he always came to confront Frieza by himself, he welcomed the pain that the tyrant would inflict upon him, it was his drug of choice. The more pain that he received the more stronger he became, so he took the punishment on behalf of the whole unit. But this time was an exception, Frieza requested the presence of Azra who was kneeling behind Vegeta, strands of her brown hair falling into her face.
"You see monkeys, the universe is mine for the taking, the only reason why you and your maggot Saiyan counterparts are still alive is because I don't want to do the dirty work myself. It just seems that I can no longer employ competent warriors around this galaxy anymore."
Vegeta bit his tongue. He had learned from experience to only speak when Frieza had asked him a question, but he couldn't help himself sometimes. The last time he spoke out of turn he was beaten to an inch of his life, and that wasn't even including the punishments that he received on behalf of his unit.
"What do you have to say for yourself apes?"
Vegeta flinched at the term. His pride would've had him beaten within an inch of his life than to be called an ape or a monkey. Vegeta bit into his tongue until he tasted blood in his mouth, he tried with all of his might to not let his tongue go. If it had it would cost him his life. He swallowed his patented brew of saliva and blood and opened his mouth to speak.
"We did not anticipate the level of retaliation that we received. When we purge we split the planet into two parts, east and west. The population of the middle retaliated, they were dealt with easily but a few escaped. To fix the mistake we have since begun to split the planet into four parts in order for equal coverage and to minimize the chance of stragglers getting off of the planet," he replied.
As soon as Vegeta had uttered the last syllable he was in front of Vegeta with hand wound up in a fist behind his head. "Wrong answer monkey," he said as he struck him.
The boy's body flew across the room like a rag doll. He forced himself on all fours before standing to his feet. His master delivered a swift kick to his chest knocking him back to the ground. He straddled the boy and beat him until he began to cough up blood. Vegeta made sure that the only sound that he made in front of the tyrant was that of him spitting his blood out of his mouth and his ragged breathing. The only way that he could get to Frieza was by refusing to submit to him.
Azra trembled for her Saiyan counterpart but stayed still never once breaking eye contact with the floor.
"Watch me destroy your prince," he called over to Azra, but she refused to move. "I said watch," he bellowed maniacally.
Her eyes were jarred from the ground and she looked at Vegeta, eyes swollen and bloodied, hemorrhaging from his ears, eyes and nose. So this was how it was going to end?
Frieza picked him up by his throat and began to pound him into the window cracking it. He continued his assault on the prince permanently imprinting his small frame into the thick glass and grunting into the child with each and every hit.
As the glass began to crack the alarms of the ship began to blare, causing the young boy even more pain to his already sensitive ears. Vegeta forced his eyes open for a split second to look upon his attacker, the look in Frieza's eyes was that of pure bliss. The boy's pain was his ecstasy as he continued to pound him into a bloody pulp.
Frieza stopped when he realized that he had made a small hole in the window with the boy's body. He held Vegeta against the glass before letting him slide down to the ground leaving a streak of blood as evidence of what had just transpired.
Azra looked upon the prince of her race in absolute horror, he wasn't recognizable, she took off from her place running to his aid.
"When will I be able to give you a perfect score for purging? Perhaps you'd like to study under the Zarbon on one of his purges," Frieza suggested with a hint of condescension.
He had always been trying to get Vegeta to conform to his rule, but the young boy wouldn't have it. His body was willing but his pride refused to fall in line with Frieza, and the tyrant hated him for it. He could barely muster the strength to answer him, but with all his might he opened his mouth once more.
"The rumour around the ship is that Zarbon likes young boys..." Azra covered his mouth with a gloved hand before he could finish.
"Do you have a death wish?" She whispered.
The young boy began to laugh uncontrollably in her arms and began coughing up blood in the process, "Wouldn't death mean freedom?"
"That's too easy, freedom will only taste good when it's earned," she whispered.
The sadistic tyrant calmly walked back over towering over the two young Saiyans. He cocked his head to the side asking Azra a silent question and received no response. With that he grabbed her by her ponytail and flung her across the room away from the prince.
"I don't recall myself telling you that you can move. Do you?" He said as he floated his way over to her.
"No, my lord."
"I don't think I told you to address me either." Frieza phased out and appeared right in front of her. He pressed his foot into her ribs and applied pressure until he heard her bones begin to crack. Her screams echoed throughout the room as she writhed underneath his foot.
The louder she screamed the more pressure he applied, it wasn't long before she began to cough up blood. He gripped her head, lifting her up to eye level and rapidly continued his assault on her ribs.
Vegeta watched through his swollen eyes as Frieza relentlessly beat her unconscious before dropping her.
And as if it were her saving grace, the screen on the other side of the room suddenly began to began to flash to life.
"Baby sister, when are you going to learn that you play too hard with your toys, it won't be long until you break them... permanently."
Cooler's term of endearment for his brother made him seethe inside. If there was one thing Vegeta knew Frieza hated more than him, it was his own brother.
"Grr-, shut up!" Frieza screamed toward the screen."
Cooler smirked at his fuming brother. "Father would like to have a word with you, now get rid of your toys."
"Monkeys, you have thirty seconds to get out of my sight, or I will kill you both where you stand."
Frieza calmly walked back over to her before kicking her in her ribs making her body inadvertently seize.
With blood dripping from his head, Vegeta quietly forced himself on all fours and crawled over to Azra's unconscious body. He was close enough to hear her blood bubbling in her throat and he knew right away that her lungs had been punctured.
He grabbed one of her arms and slung her over his shoulder before wrapping his tail around her to keep her steady. With all of his might he forced himself to his feet and shuffled his way toward the door.
Frieza had not yet finished with his twisted game, he fired a ki beam toward the prince's feet knocking him off balance. He refused to let go of his partner knowing that one more fall and it would've sealed her fate. A Saiyan deserved more than to die on the cold floors of this ship.
Once more Vegeta willed himself out of the room, barely able to see through the caked blood on his swollen eyes. He sent out small pulses of his ki so that he didn't bump into anything. His pride kept him from hitting his scouter to call Nappa to carry her so that he was able to walk on his own.
The young prince was relieved that the medical wing was empty, he eyed the only regen tank in the wing with a solemn expression. It was either him or her. He set her down on the ground before removing her cracked armour. The cemented blood flaked off of her hair as he pulled it over her shoulders. He looked at her deformed torso and used a bit of his ki to rip the jumpsuit off her. She didn't receive half the beating he got, but opted to put her in first anyways, the more he was able to heal without the power of the tank, the stronger he became.
Wearing only her Saiyan ID tags, Vegeta summoned the last of his strength and hoisted her into the tank before closing it and pressing start.
"I am going to kill him one day," he said to her as the tank began to fill with regeneration fluid.
His Saiyan blood had already begun the healing process on him and for that he was thankful. He slightly opened one of his eyes to look at her. He would never understand what Nappa and Radditz babbled about after they came from the floor of the ship affectionately dubbed the 'red smoke.' He recognized and matched some of the anatomy that they raved about to certain parts of Azra's body.
"I'll never touch that," he snided.
He shook his head at the sight of her body and ambled over to one of the basins. He removed his scouter and set it on the stand behind him. He removed his bloodied armour and threw it aside before beginning to wash the blood off of himself. He methodically scrubbed through his tall mane washing the blood from it before gingerly rubbing the blood off of his face. As soon as Azra was finished with the tank he needed to use it, they were scheduled for another purge the next day.
The tapping on the glass caught his attention and he whipped around to see a conscious Azra staring back at him. He shuffled over and watched as she instinctively covered her body. He stopped the machine so that she could exit.
Her wet hair was matted to her back and dripping on the tiled floor. She immediately dried herself with her ki and began looking for a fresh jumpsuit and armour.
"The last thing I remember was being knocked unconscious by Frieza, how did I get here?"She asked as she pulled open every door in the room in her search.
"Nappa was summoned and brought you here," he lied.
"Then where is he?"
The young prince offered up a glare in response. "On the Red Smoke floor with Radditz, now get out of the way, the faster this is over the better. I need to be one hundred percent before the next purge." He began to cough up more blood upon finishing his sentence.
Azra's search proved to be fruitful as she pulled on her jumpsuit, boots and armour. She walked back over to the tank and started it for him. He ignored her and closed his eyes as it began to work its healing power on his body.
The tank stopped once his body was fully healed. The prince looked around for Azra and thankfully, she had left him to himself. He noticed the new armour and jumpsuit that she laid out for him in front of the tank and scoffed.
"I wish this girl would leave me alone," he sneered before picking them up and pulling them on.
The young prince grabbed his scouter and made his way over to his quarters. The room was hidden from the rest of the ship, that was the boy's first priority after he killed a commander in order to stamp the room as his own. The only way in was through one of the air ducts. He didn't want to be found easily by anybody, not even his Saiyan counterparts. He had the door replaced with a steel wall without Frieza's knowledge, he bribed a few of the technicians in the armoury to build it for him while Frieza was away tending to 'family matters' as he put it. Vegeta knew that it was nothing more than Cooler bullying him into submission, what he would pay to see that happen in his lifetime.
He paid each of them in the credits that he had plundered from the planets that he had purged. If he was going to be a slave for the rest of his life, he might as well make his room comfortable if he going to be on the ship for extended periods of time. After Frieza's, it was one of the premier quarters of the ship. Akin to Frieza's command center, the room featured a wall-to-ceiling window on one side of the room, and was carpeted with the best furs that he could find while on purge missions. He had gone down to the trading floor of the ship and brought a large screen and had the security features installed so that he was able to see who was passing outside of his room, who lingered around, and who became suspicious of his whereabouts. Even though the team had done an excellent job in concealing their secret, he was still careful.
He stood near his window looking out at the universe, but even in all it's openness and no matter how far from the ship he would find himself, he felt like a caged animal in an endless sea of black. He placed both of his hands on the window cloaking it to look like just another steel wall of the ship, another plus from the tech team, his plundered credits came in handy. He leaned against the wall losing himself in his thoughts.
He killed. He plundered. He mutilated. He stole. But in his defence, he knew no better. He was brutalized into submission, forgetting all that was once understood about decency as he descended into his debasement. A child groomed to murder deserved some mercy too, right?
It didn't come easy, it was something that he had to get used to. He was bred to fight, not to kill mindlessly as his master had him do.
Vegeta was a groomed killer, forgetting all that once was of his princely decency. It was defunct, he only used the title as his pride, by no means was it his lifestyle. Growing stronger after every battle, he kept telling himself a little while longer before he surpassed Frieza in battle. He would avenge his bloodline and take his rightful place as the hegemon of the universe. Little did he know, he'd be telling himself that for a long time, but he promised himself that nobody would break his pride in who he was and who he was destined to be, it was simply a detour. He ambled over to his the bed and took off his scouter. He looked into it once more before turning it off.
"Bulma!" Chi-Chi cried out, "Would you turn that contraption off, the tournament is starting.
Bulma pulled the scouter from her face and dropped it into her purse.
"And where is your husband?"
"Wherever he is, I'll doubt he'd miss Trunks' fight, they've been training non-stop, and even though he doesn't show it, I know that he's proud of him."
Yamcha joined the two women on the balcony and wrapped his arm around Bulma. "Hey, do you mind telling me why you were wearing that vintage scouter?" He inquired.
"It's just a way of me calculating the power levels of those Trunks will be going up against," he lied.
"Attention ladies and gentlemen, please focus your attention to the ring and welcome our fighters!"
Bulma looked at Chi-Chi and Yamcha before racing off to their seats.
A/N: Thanks for reading everyone. I appreciate each and every one of your reviews! ^_^